Saturday, December 30, 2017

Classroom Tools Using ClassroomScreen

There are all kinds of websites that offer great classroom tools for teachers. They all have great things to offer, but if you are like you hate to have so many tabs open with one tool on each tab. ClassroomScreen to the rescue! This site has them all in one tab, easy to use, turn on/off, and interactive. Go to and take a look! All for FREE!

Get Started:
  1. This is SO easy. Just go to
  2. Take a look at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Click on the tool you want to use. It will be added to your screen (you can have many running at the same time).

  1. To remove the tool form the screen, click the icon on the dock again and it will disappear.

Classroom Tools:
There are many tools to select from. They are all on the dock at the bottom. Clik on a tool and give it a try.

  • Set a cool Background
    • You can select a background from the ones in the site (and even click to just randomly select one) or upload your own!

  • Random Name Selector
    • Copy/Paste your class list into the box and click ”Choose”. A random name will be selected!

  • Sound Level
    • Monitor the sound level in your classroom with this live sound tool!

  • QR Code Generator
    • Paste in your URL and hit “Enter”. A QR Code is now generated for you to share with your students right on your screen!

  • Full-Screen Drawing
    • Need to draw something for a quick demo? This is the tool for you!

  • Small Drawing
    • This is like the drawing above, but small and can stay on your screen with all the other tools as well!

  • Text
    • Need to share some text (class directions or info to share)? Type it in this box and leave it up for students to see.

  • Work Symbols
    • Choose from the list to have students know what is expected for work time. Choose from "Silence", "Whisper", "Ask a Neighbor", or "Work Together".

  • Traffic Light
    • Do you use a Traffic Symbol for work sound or other class activities? Now you can leave it on the screen and select which color that moment requires.

  • Timer
    • Set a timer for work time easily!

  • Clock (and Calendar Option)
    • Need the clock or calendar visible? This tool does that!

This is an easy and helpful site. Give it a shot in your classroom!

If you want these directions in a Document click HERE!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Setting Up Typing Club

There are many keyboarding programs out there. Some are device installed programs while others are web-based. I have seen the focus on keyboarding in elementary schools reduce in the past few years, and unfortunately I have seen the negative results. One way to help our students be more productive on devices is giving them the skills to keyboard (this coming from a 45-year old that cannot type...guilty). One of the easiest programs to use to increase keyboarding is Typing Club. There is even a FREE school version. Check it out and get your students keyboarding!

Create a Teacher Account:
  1. Click “Get Started for Free”.

  1. Choose “Teacher”.

  1. Fill in all the boxes (including searching for your school).
  2. In the “URL” box fill in the text you want students going to (I entered in my name).

  1. Then continue to your dashboard.

Create a Class and Import Students:
  1. Go to “Classes” on the left side.

  1. This is where it pays off to be using Google Classroom! Click on “Google Classroom”.

  1. Follow the steps to select the Classroom you want included.

  1. In the “Classes” dashboard, click in the class you just created from Google Classroom.

  1. On the right side is the link you need to share with your class. I recommend posting this as an announcement in Google Classroom to make it easiest for students to easily go.

  1. Once your students click the link they can “Sign in using your Google account”.

You are all set!

One note: With the FREE version, progress is kept for 30 days. If your students do not sign in and use the program within that time, they will lose their progress and have to start over.

If you want these steps in a Document, click Here!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Word Clouds Made Easy

I love word clouds. I used them often in my elementary classrooms, and not just to make cool looking images. I had students create a word cloud with every document they created to show frequency of words: the more often a word is used the larger it appeared. This helped them with word choice and creating interesting writing. The downside was when we went to 100% Chrome environment. Sites like and no longer worked (Java issues). But have no fear… to the rescue. This site allows you to create beautiful word clouds (even with custom shapes) for FREE. There is a paid portion, but a classroom can easily just use the freebies! Check out how to get started below.

Create Word Art:
  1. Go to
  2. You can create an account (allows you to save work and edit later) or just use the free (not signed in but can still create).
  3. Click “Create”.

  1. Copy and paste your text you want to create with and click “Import”.

  1. Paste your text into the box and click “Import Words”.

  1. Get creating with “Shapes, Fonts, Layout, and Style”.

  • Shapes: There are presets, but you can upload any image you have as well
  • Fonts: Get creative and choose one that fits your desired image
  • Layout: How do you want the text facing?
  • Style: Color of words

  1. When you are ready click “Visualize” and your word cloud will be created.

  1. To save this click “Download” and choose “Standards PNG or JPEG”. The standard versions (plenty good for any student’s project) is free while the “HQ” images are paid.

  1. Add this awesome creation to any project!

If you want these directions in a Document Click Here!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Create Animated GIFs with Google Photos

They are everywhere...GIFs...those animated pictures we all love. They tell stories, make us laugh with jokes, and allow the sharing of multiple images in one frame. They are great to use in documents, slides, email, and social media but how can you easily make them? There are apps and tools that you can use, but there is also an easy way already built into your Google Account. Making basic GIFS is as easy 1, 2,3 using Google Photos. Follow the steps below and get GIFing!

1: Get Photos into Google Photos
  1. Use the Google Photos app on your mobile device to auto-upload device pictures: How To Document
  2. Manually upload images to Google Photos.
    1. Drag your images from your computer directly to the screen.

2: Select Images in Google Photos
  1. Go to or use the Google Photos app and select the check mark in the top left corner of any image you want to be included in your GIF.

  1. You can choose between 2-50 images for any one GIF.

3: Create Animation
  1. Once your images are selected, click the “+” icon in the top right.

  1. Select Animation.

  1. Your animated GIF will be created. Download or insert this image into any project or social media post to share.

The best feature of a GIF is that you can insert this into almost anything (Docs, Slides, Email, Twitter, etc…). This is an easy way to share multiple images in one frame or to create a step by step process (such as stop-motion action/time lapse). The uses are endless and add a little flair to your documents.

...and is a “J” sound in GIF (like the peanut butter)!

If you want these directions in a document click Here!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Fun with Google

Need some fun Google Games and Tools? Check these fun Google Tricks out!

Flip A Coin

What do you do when you have to make a tough decision to make between two options? You flip a coin! What if you don’t have a coin? Well, no worries...Google to the rescue. Type 'Flip A Coin' and click on 'Google Search' and just like that Google will tell you your fate (or at least heads or tails)!

Roll A Die

Playing a game and need to roll a die? Google has you covered! Just type 'Roll a die' and Google will help you play games easily.

Pick a Number

What do you do when you have to pick a random number? Let Google do it for you! Type “Pick a number from x-x” into the search bar and press enter. You can make the first and last numbers anything you want.

Zerg Rush

If you type 'Zerg Rush' into the search bar and click “Google Search” a playable game with small O characters will appear and start destroying all your search results if they are not clicked with the mouse pointer. Get clicking and save your search!

Atari Breakout

Type 'Atari Breakout' into Google Images and you'll get the classic Atari arcade game to play. Be careful, you may be stuck playing for a while and forget what you came to Google fo in the first place!.

Google Pacman

Google also lets you play the 1980s arcade game Pac-Man. Just type 'Google Pacman' in the search box and get ready to chop some pellets. Watch out for those pesky multi-colored ghosts around the Google logo.

Offline Dinosaur Game

If you lose your internet connection you won’t get bored. Google gives you an awesome endless Dinosaur Game on Chrome to play until network is back!
Hidden Google Secrets

For this in a Document, click Here!